Yesterday, WLRN hosted commentators talking about the future of the Miami-Dade economy. One made the point that unemployment is higher in South Florida because we have no economy other than suburban sprawl and tourism. The same point was made has been made as long as I've lived in Miami-- for nearly 20 years-- that we need to diversify our economy. The point was made about the lack of political leadership capable to the challenge.
My response ties into the guest comment, below, on the effort to expand rock mines in West Dade; eating the Everglades to provide cement for China. I flew into MIA over the Everglades the other day and I'm always drawn to the landscape at the edge: the rock mines, the water wellfield, the canals separating sprawl -- the true constituency of political leadership in Miami-Dade-- and the Everglades. And I always wonder, even flying down the coast before the final turn to the runway: what job creator is going to embrace this landscape? Florida politicians gave everything to the builders, the developers and their lobbyists. We sacrificed quality of life and the environmental attributes that actually drew millions of Floridians and visitors here, in the first place. Can we turn South Florida around?